motherboards

Best Motherboards to Buy

by Sam Greene

Hardware communication is essential when you are trying to bring out the best of your computer’s performance. Buying the best processor and top-performing RAM isn’t the end of a PC build. To ensure fast and smooth communication, you need to research for the best motherboard to buy. The motherboard can prove to be the critical factor in bottlenecking in your hardware configuration.

At A Glance:

Best pick

Best Premium Motherboard to Buy

MSI MEG Z490 GODLIKE

MSI MEG Z490 GODLIKE

Powerful Audio

On-Board Status LEDs

Diverse BIOS configuration

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Staff Pick

Best Overall Motherboard to Buy

Gigabyte Z390 AORUS ELITE

Gigabyte Z390 AORUS ELITE

Reliable for overclocking

Broad RGB Customization

2 Way Crossfire AMD Support

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Budget Pick

Best Budget Motherboard to Buy

ASUS ROG Maximus XI Hero (Wi-Fi)

ASUS ROG Maximus XI Hero (Wi-Fi)

Super audio quality

Sufficient USB connections

Integrated IO with BIOS Buttons

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Many factors can help you decide which board is the right one for you. And we;re going to dive into each and every one that’s important for your rig. The chipset supports your processor, power consumption under idle and loaded conditions, phases of VRM, connectivity, heat sinks, chipset, aesthetics, storage options, overclocking potential, and audio. Better hardware means better performance, so start filtering your options through hardware.

Even though the hardware can be in the top class unbeatable category, the benchmark results matter the most. You will need to thoroughly go through each of the motherboard discussion to decide which one suits you the best. We have listed down 8 motherboards with diversity, including both LGA1151 and AM4 socket motherboards. Let’s see which motherboard can run your load with ease. Read on to find out more!

Our Recommendations For Best Motherboard to Buy

Award Modal Design Retailer
Best Premium Motherboard to Buy MSI MEG Z490 GODLIKE MSI MEG Z490 GODLIKE View on amazon
Best Flagship Motherboard to Buy ASUS ROG Strix Z390-E Gaming ASUS ROG Strix Z390-E Gaming View on amazon
Best Overall Motherboard to Buy Gigabyte Z390 AORUS ELITE Gigabyte Z390 AORUS ELITE View on amazon
Best Budget Motherboard to Buy ASUS ROG Maximus XI Hero (Wi-Fi) ASUS ROG Maximus XI Hero (Wi-Fi) View on amazon
Best Mid-Range Motherboard to Buy MSI MPG X570 GAMING EDGE WIFI MSI MPG X570 GAMING EDGE WIFI View on amazon
Best Enthusiast Motherboard to Buy GIGABYTE X470 Aorus Ultra GIGABYTE X470 Aorus Ultra View on amazon
Best ATX Motherboard to Buy ASUS ROG Strix B550 ASUS ROG Strix B550 View on amazon
Best Performance Motherboard to Buy ASUS ROG Strix B450-F ASUS ROG Strix B450-F View on amazon

MSI MEG Z490 GODLIKE

Best pick MSI MEG Z490 GODLIKE View on amazon

Brand: MSI | Processor: Intel 8th/9th Gen | Chipset: Intel Z390| Memory: 128GB, 4 x DIMM | Memory Speed: 2133 MHz to 4600 MHz (O.C) | Dimensions: 12 x 10.7 x 1.2 Inches | Socket: LGA1151 | Form Factor: ATX | Audio: 2 x Realtek 8-Channel High Definition Audio | VRM Phase: 18

What recent buyers report?

MSI MEG Z490 GODLIKE lives up to its name. It has premium features like the 2 LAN ports, so you don’t need a router to share the internet. You can prioritize bandwidth to your PC when required. The pre-amp of the sound chip is a fantastic feature of this board. The sound output of 384 kHz/32-bit is breathtaking, with a 6.3mm headphone output on the IO shield.

Why it stands out to us?

MSI has manufactured a beast with onboard diagnostic LEDs. The IO is outstandingly integrated to protect it from EMI and features BIOS flashback, clear CMOS button. Capability to install 3 NVME M.2 SSDs and 4 PCIe x16 cards is the best you can achieve in an ATX form factor.

Who will use it most?

It’s for gamers and content creators who have good knowledge of hardware and want to optimize their rig to the best. This board is also durable and performance-optimized, making it the right choice for hardware reviewers who require high performing motherboard with broad capabilities and monitor health through onboard LEDs for each hardware closely.

Bottom Line

This beast is for enthusiast gamers who won’t compromise on performance. It’s savage-looking with colossal heat sinks that keep the motherboard and M.2 SSDs cool. The overclocking dial with power/reset buttons is a big plus. It even features a button to switch between BIOS profiles. It means you could change your PC performance before deciding to use it.

The Pros

Powerful Audio

On-Board Status LEDs

Diverse BIOS configuration

The Cons

Old WiFI-5

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ASUS ROG Strix Z390-E Gaming

ASUS ROG Strix Z390-E Gaming View on amazon

Brand: Asus | Processor: Intel 8th/9th Gen | Chipset: Intel Z390 | Memory: 64GB, 4 x DIMM | Memory Speed: 2133 MHz to 4266 MHz (O.C) | Dimensions: 13.50 x 3.03 x 10.75 inch | Socket: LGA1151 | Form Factor: ATX | Audio: SupremeFX 8-Channel High Definition Audio | VRM Phase: 4x2

What recent buyers report?

The users claim this to be the best overclocking board. The BIOS is user friendly and straightforward, and the audio and LAN comes with surge protection. This board’s sound quality can be rated high as it outputs 113dB comparative to its competition. EMI interference has also been reduced using an audio shield on components and using the integrated IO shield.

Why it stands out to us?

It has a monochromatic theme and gives it a sleek look. This board looks great with or without RGB. You can tweak your temperatures and power output on this board precisely as it features an 8 VRM (4x2) design. The power connection is better than before introducing thicker connection pins. Two large heatsinks are installed with good contact to improve heat transfer from the chipset and VRMs.

Who will use it most?

Intel fans with k series processors can go for ASUS ROG Strix Z390-E Gaming. It is suitable for beginners who are jumping on the bandwagon of overclocking. It has a predefined setting for your processor to ensure stable overclocking. At the same time, they do feature a manual configuration for more advanced users.

Bottom Line

This motherboard comes with AI-based overclocking, which helps people who don’t want to optimize their performance manually. It has enough fan headers to keep the computer system cool. The wireless connectivity through the antenna ensures low latency and a lag-free online gaming experience. Though the technology is a bit old, it features an exemplary implementation of WiFi-5.

The Pros

Sleek Look

Sufficient fan headers

Friendly UI for overclocking

The Cons

No BIOS Flashback button

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Gigabyte Z390 AORUS ELITE

Staff Pick Gigabyte Z390 AORUS ELITE View on amazon

Brand: Gigabyte | Processor: Intel 8th/9th Gen | Chipset: Intel Z390 | Memory: DDR4 128GB, 4 x DIMM | Memory Speed: 2133 MHz to 4266 MHz (O.C) | Dimensions: 1.05 x 4.55 x 4.57 inch | Socket: LGA1151 | Form Factor: ATX | Audio: Realtek 8-Channel High Definition Audio| VRM Phase: 12+1

What recent buyers report?

Buyers love this motherboard’s price as it has a decent amount of VRMs, thus letting a lot of room for overclocking. The users seem not to like the BIOS UI. It’s challenging to navigate and does not contain the slider option. RGB software works perfectly, and the onboard RGB blends in nicely with the externally attacked RGBs.

Why it stands out to us?

Gigabyte Z390 AORUS ELITE has good performance for the price. The amount of VRM packed into this motherboard within its price range is unique. Under 200$, you can get a decent overclocking room for your hardware. It gives sufficient connectivity for IOs through 9 USB 3.1 and 8 older USB connections.

Who will use it most?

It’s for gamers looking to overclock their machine to get significant performance out of their processors. Stable voltage and power supplies are ensured through proper VRMs. You can reach up to 4255 MHz as stated by the manufacturer. 128GB of RAM also helps games fetch a massive amount of data from the RAM in real-time.

Bottom Line

If you are a buyer who owns Nvidia graphics cards and is looking to SLI those graphics cards, this motherboard is not for you. On the other hand, AMD Radeon owners can use a dual card setup to boost gaming performance. This motherboard is best for gamers who don’t want stable fps, i.e., 100+ with good connectivity. Wi-Fi for such users is not a concern, but if you frequently use Bluetooth data transfer or Bluetooth audio, this motherboard is not for you.

The Pros

Reliable for overclocking

Broad RGB Customization

2 Way Crossfire AMD Support

The Cons

Missing Bluetooth & WiFi

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ASUS ROG Maximus XI Hero (Wi-Fi)

Budget Pick ASUS ROG Maximus XI Hero (Wi-Fi) View on amazon

Brand: ASUS | Processor: Intel 8th/9th Gen | Chipset: Intel Z390 | Memory: DDR4 128GB, 4 x DIMM | Memory Speed: 2133 MHz to 4400 MHz (O.C) | Dimensions: 14.57 x 4.25 x 12.28 inch | Socket: LGA1151 | Form Factor: ATX | Audio: ROG SupremeFX 8-Channel High Definition Audio| VRM Phase: 4+2

What recent buyers report?

ASUS ROG Maximus XI Hero Wi-Fi has all the features an enthusiast gamer needs to build an overclockable PC. The VRMs and M.2 heatsinks come within the package, unlike its competition. The motherboard components remain significantly under controlled temperature and do not exceed limits. Aesthetically this motherboard is top class with a monochromatic theme and a touch of RGB.

Why it stands out to us?

The wireless connectivity of this motherboard is excellent. The Coffee Lake’s operational frequencies are fixed for some reference clock speed, but this motherboard features a dedicated onboard clock generator that can give dynamic reference clocks. Thus maximizing your processor performance and utilizing all the available rooms. The ASUS AI overclocking through windows is powerful than ever.

Who will use it most?

Gamers who are a user of Bluetooth controllers and headphones would prefer this motherboard. It does offer a perfect integrated sound chip which can deliver high quality 120 dB SNR playback output. Wireless connectivity is the main focus on this motherboard, so if you don’t like tangled wire mess, this one is the right motherboard for you.

Bottom Line

If you are an enthusiast gamer, then this board has an excellent overclocking option with decent performance. The crossfire/SLI fans can also use this motherboard to boost their gaming performance. The framerates on this board remain stable, and bottlenecking is minimized. With a liquid cooling solution, this motherboard can outshine all its competition for the price.

The Pros

Super audio quality

Sufficient USB connections

Integrated IO with BIOS Buttons

The Cons

M.2 runs hot

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MSI MPG X570 GAMING EDGE WIFI

MSI MPG X570 GAMING EDGE WIFI View on amazon

Brand: MSI | Processor: AMD 1st/2nd/3rd Gen Ryzen | Chipset: AMD X570 | Memory: 128GB, 4 x DIMM | Memory Speed: 1866 MHz to 4400MHz (O.C) | Dimensions: 12.00 x 9.60 x 2.50 inches | Socket: AM4 | Form Factor: ATX | Audio: SupremeFX 8-Channel High Definition Audio| VRM Phase: 4+2

What recent buyers report?

This board offers a wide range of RAM compatibility. If you have 1866 MHz RAM from your PC, you can easily plug and play on this motherboard. It offers 128GB of RAM support, which is more than enough for all the games, video editing, and photo-editing software. Professional engineers can smoothly run their modeling and analysis on this board as MSI MPG X570 GAMING EDGE WIFI has the option to run 3rd Gen high-speed processors.

Why it stands out to us?

As the name suggests, this motherboard’s significant feature is its blazing speed internet connectivity delivering speeds up to 433Mbps. It features the latest Bluetooth technology with up to 25 Mbps data transfer speeds. High ping issues will reduce significantly due to the antenna connection at the back of the motherboard so that you can get your juicy headshots on point.

Who will use it most?

Computer users who upgrade their components regularly expect on a regular interval are expecting that PCIe 4.0 will soon be available on the GFX card. M.2 and PCIe’s blazing speed can provide up to 64GB/s fast enough to load games like PUBG, Apex Legend, GTA V, and The Witcher 3 quickly.

Bottom Line

One of the great things about the AMD X570 chipset is its PCIe 4.0 support, which Intel lacks. Undoubtedly the AMD X570 chipset is the best in the business of esports and gaming. It does come at a price, but the price is justified as it is built on a server-grade PCB, reinforced PCIe Slots for heavy graphic cards, and installation mishandling.

The Pros

Fast WiFi and Bluetooth

NVME M.2 Gen4 Support

Good Fan Header Placement

The Cons

Lacks WiFi-6

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GIGABYTE X470 Aorus Ultra

GIGABYTE X470 Aorus Ultra View on amazon

Brand: GIGABYTE | Processor: AMD 1st/2nd/3rd Gen Ryzen | Chipset: AMD X470 | Memory: 64GB, 4 x DIMM | Memory Speed: 2133 MHz to 3600 MHz (O.C) | Dimensions: 2.76 x 0.79 x 0.20 inches | Socket: AM4 | Form Factor: ATX | Audio: Realtek 8-Channel High Definition Audio| VRM Phase: 8+3

What recent buyers report?

GIGABYTE X470 Aorus Ultra has beautiful looking fully functional heatsinks. This board supports a wide variety of processor ranges that AMD has to offer. It has a room temperature sensor and features 5 fan headers for proper cooling. The amount of feature for the price point is a deal maker.

Why it stands out to us?

Price is what stands out to us the most; this motherboard has M.2 heatsinks, a pre-amped audio output which adjusts its output by detecting the impedance of the headphone or speaker connected. It features USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A and C with up to staggering 10GB/s of transfer rates.

Who will use it most?

The gamer who is on a budget and want to overclock their CPUs will be looking for this option. It is a dual BIOS supporting motherboard. Thus gamers and tech reviewers looking to push an extra clock out of an AMD processor and tweaking with the BIOS can use the dual BIOS option to ensure proper backup and fail-safe.

Bottom Line

It’s a good motherboard for stock speeds as it features significant VRMs to supply stable voltages to your processor. Hardware monitoring offered by Gigabyte is pervasive. It can monitor voltage, temperature, fan speed, and water flowrate. You can monitor your computer health easily via Gigabyte windows software.

The Pros

Good Hardware Monitoring

2 Way SLI and Crossfire Support

60Hz HDMI Output for Integrated Graphics

The Cons

No M.2 Screws inside the package

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ASUS ROG Strix B550

ASUS ROG Strix B550 View on amazon

Brand: ASUS | Processor: AMD 1st/2nd/3rd Gen Ryzen | Chipset: AMD B550 | Memory: 128GB, 4 x DIMM | Memory Speed: 2133 MHz to 4600MHz (O.C) | Dimensions: 13.30 x 10.70 x 2.70 Inches | Socket: AM4 | Form Factor: ATX | Audio: ROG SupremeFX 8-Channel High Definition Audio| VRM Phase: 4+2

What recent buyers report?

ASUS ROG Strix B550 is a solid build with a 6layer PCB. It has good headers to ensure connection to fans and AIO Pump. The enlarged heatsinks for the VRM can be seen. The design is passive based so no forced cooling required for its design operation.

Why it stands out to us?

As a competitive gamer, the importance of sound cannot be repeated enough. The quality of the sound, accuracy, and clarity is properly ensured in this motherboard. The AI-based noise cancellation featured in this motherboard Audio chipset can help you communicate better with your teammates in online-based games.

Who will use it most?

Gamers who use memory-intensive games like the No Mans Sky, you can go for this motherboard. It has reinforced PCIe slots to improve endurance people who change their graphic cards as tech reviewers can go for this board. Cyclic loading won’t affect this motherboard’s reliability.

Bottom Line

This motherboard chipset is efficient; it doesn’t produce a lot of heat and doesn’t require any active cooling to keep the chipset cool. The motherboard is aesthetically aggressive-looking, so people who are making aesthetically pleasing builds can consider the best motherboard to buy. The RGB is low-key in this board, so you will need to install RGB separately to make it look more appealing.

The Pros

Extended heatsinks

Pre-mounted IO Shield

Latest WiFi-6 802.11AX

The Cons

No USB-C for the front panel

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ASUS ROG Strix B450-F

ASUS ROG Strix B450-F View on amazon

Brand: ASUS | Processor: AMD 1st/2nd/3rd Gen Ryzen | Chipset: AMD B450 | Memory: 64GB, 4 x DIMM | Memory Speed: 2133 MHz to 3200 MHz (O.C) | Dimensions: 12.00 x 9.60 x 1.50 inch | Socket: AM4 | Form Factor: ATX | Audio: ROG SupremeFX 8-Channel High Definition Audio| VRM Phase: 4+4

What recent buyers report?

ASUS ROG Strix B450-F after the BIOS upgrade works fine. Out of the box, it has support for AMD 2nd Generation. The IO Shield comes preinstalled. AI is smart but sometimes doesn’t overclock. It gives enough connectivity with 8 USB ports, 6 SATA ports, and 2 M.2 SSD slots. It does have the usual problem of disabling the 5 & 6 SATA port with 2 M.2 SSD connected.

Why it stands out to us?

The defining look of this board makes it stand out and appealing. Each chip and connection can be seen. It is a functional motherboard that can job done. If you are a casual gamer looking to spend fewer bucks. 64 GB memory capacity is more than enough to run any processor and RAM intensive game smooth at 100+ fps depending on your graphics card.

Who will use it most?

Budget gamers can use this motherboard to boost their performance as this features all the top tier capabilities. The RMAA performance ensures 113db of audio output. The audio shielding minimizes EMI, thus reducing background noise. If you are not looking to upgrade any way near the future, this motherboard will suit you as it features PCIe 3.0 support.

Bottom Line

Asus ROG series usually comes with the impedance detection feature, which helps your audio chipset detect the headphone and adjust amplification magnitude. The 32Gbps M.2 speed can boot up your windows rapidly and decrease the loading screen during gaming. It does not have WiFi, but it is mostly not used by gamers, and content creators recommend using a wired connection as it is cheaper. This board is the best choice for a budget-friendly gaming rig.

The Pros

3-Way Crossfire ready

StoreMI for proper storage utilization

Work great with any Ryzen Gen 3 CPU

The Cons

No WiFi & Bluetooth

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Summary For Best Motherboard to Buy

Award Modal Design Retailer
Best Premium Motherboard to Buy MSI MEG Z490 GODLIKE MSI MEG Z490 GODLIKE View on amazon
Best Flagship Motherboard to Buy ASUS ROG Strix Z390-E Gaming ASUS ROG Strix Z390-E Gaming View on amazon
Best Overall Motherboard to Buy Gigabyte Z390 AORUS ELITE Gigabyte Z390 AORUS ELITE View on amazon
Best Budget Motherboard to Buy ASUS ROG Maximus XI Hero (Wi-Fi) ASUS ROG Maximus XI Hero (Wi-Fi) View on amazon
Best Mid-Range Motherboard to Buy MSI MPG X570 GAMING EDGE WIFI MSI MPG X570 GAMING EDGE WIFI View on amazon
Best Enthusiast Motherboard to Buy GIGABYTE X470 Aorus Ultra GIGABYTE X470 Aorus Ultra View on amazon
Best ATX Motherboard to Buy ASUS ROG Strix B550 ASUS ROG Strix B550 View on amazon
Best Performance Motherboard to Buy ASUS ROG Strix B450-F ASUS ROG Strix B450-F View on amazon

Conclusion

Whether you go for AMD or Intel decision is mainly up to the user. What we did in this article is to give you options in both the Intel and AMD range. Some motherboards are affordable, and there are some absolute beasts. In general, the motherboard should over time your CPU stably, run cool, consume low power, offer complete connectivity, be future proof, and have good audio performance. The BIOS should be user friendly. But the query which is the best motherboard to buy is based on some particular perimeters of every user. The first step is the price, and the next is the purpose of purchasing a motherboard. For example, if you are going for your first PC build or want to upgrade your PC. Are you a casual user or a premium gamer, or belong to another profession. You have to pick the most suitable and compatible one for your needs and requirements.

Frequently Asked Questions

What motherboard should I buy for 2021?

Customer feedback is essential; many users have reported that MSI MPG X570 GAMING EDGE WIFI is a very stable motherboard for AMD processors. It has a high-speed WiFi connectivity 433Mbps. If you own many wireless devices, it has the latest Bluetooth 5.0 with 25Mbps data transfer rate, ensuring lossless data transfer with the least amount of lag.

What is the best cheapest motherboard?

ASUS ROG Strix B450-F is the cheapest yet powerful motherboard in the AMD line of motherboards. It is suitable for a budget beginner overclocker. They can experiment by investing a minimum amount. The audio chipset offers the latest technology of noise cancellation, EMI shield, and impedance-based amplification.

Which ASUS motherboard should I buy?

Most of the motherboards in our recommended list don’t include WiFi-6 capability, but ASUS ROG Strix B450-F gives this capability at a reasonable price. With a powerful AMD processor, your multi-task better than Intel. This motherboard offers the highest overclocking capacity for RAM, i.e., 4600 Mhz. Audio is very decent with AI-based noise cancellation and impedance-based sound amplification.

Are more expensive motherboards worth it?

MSI MEG Z490 GODLIKE is an all-out crazy compilation of hardware specs in a 12.00 x 10.70-inch space. The question about worth is very subjective. If you are a power user who won't compromise on a single frame of performance drop and will power this motherboard with other top-tier hardware, this motherboard is the right choice for you. The cost is bearable if you want the best of the best, but if you are a casual user, it's an overkill for any Intel processor.

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